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Goal: 30,000 Progress: 13,221
Sponsored by: The Veterans Site

Combat PTSD.

You've seen those words before, on news tickers, in Hollywood films, on trending tabs, even on the covers of scientific journals. You've been seeing those words for years now, haven't you?

What you may not have seen, or heard, is that Combat PTSD is the leading contributor to a staggering number: twenty-two. Twenty-two. According to a study conducted by Veterans Affairs in 2013, twenty-two United States veterans commit suicide every day.

Since the 2013 study, no study has found the suicide rate to be declining. Which means that we aren't doing a good enough job for our veterans. To combat this trend, the VA needs to change and improve. Quite simply, the programs currently offered by the VA-- including medication, psychotherapy and group therapy-- are not what every veteran currently needs. There cannot be a one-size-fits-all model to treat Combat PTSD.

Combat PTSD is both a psychological and physiological condition. The stress put on the sufferer's brain actually changes its physical landscape, including a 5-10% decrease in gray matter, the part of the brain responsible for relaying neurological messages to and from the body. Also affected are the hippocampus (short-term memory) and the prefrontal cortex (emotional response).

What if there were ways to not only repair what has been lost, but ways that our veterans could find peace? What if, instead of a telephone hotline and a refillable orange bottle, there were programs that granted them access to garden spaces, and to the arts, and to exercise therapy like yoga or running? What if there was a way to save veterans' lives?

Sign the petition below to tell Secretary of Veteran Affairs to explore other options to treat Combat PTSD.

Sign Here

Dear Secretary of Veteran Affairs,

According to a study conducted by Veterans Affairs in 2013, twenty-two United States veterans commit suicide every day. Twenty-two. Considering that there are now more programs for suffering veterans than there ever have been, it's hard to believe that Combat PTSD is still the leading factor that drives veterans to suicide. Together, we need to make a change. We should start with where the most veterans go for help: the VA.

The problem is not that the VA doesn't offer help; the problem is that the programs currently offered by the VA are not what every veteran needs. The VA's programs that address Combat PTSD – including medication, psychotherapy and group therapy– may work for some returning service members. For others, though, the current model just doesn't work.

Some veterans instead need something like Yoga Warriors International, who has had success in 'retraining the fight-or-flight response' so that when confronting a situation that triggers their memories, they’re able to remain calm.

Others may need the physical act of running, which a study done at Cambridge University reported to grow gray matter, a crucial part of the brain that can sometimes decrease with the onset of Combat PTSD.

Some veterans may need the catharsis that can come from writing, painting, or playing a piece of music. Others may need something like Veterans Healing Farm, where veterans escape the noisy world and are allowed to put their hands in the soil they fought so hard to defend.

Having the VA act as a bridge to these programs would be beneficial, but think about if the VA offered these programs. Veterans could be excited to go to the VA. Veterans could excited to go to therapy. Peace could be found. Pride could be restored. Progress toward having that 'twenty-two' become “zero” could be jumpstarted by the VA’s efforts to revitalize the offered programs to treat Combat PTSD.

Thank you.


Petition Signatures

Apr 25, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Apr 24, 2017 Karen Supplee Our veterans deserve the very best from our government & it's people. Shelter animals also can offer love & having someone to care for with help both.
Apr 24, 2017 Carolyn Turner
Apr 24, 2017 MP Hillman
Apr 23, 2017 Margarita Politte
Apr 22, 2017 Heidi groom
Apr 22, 2017 Margaret Paddock There is no excuse for our veterans to not receive the healthcare they were promised. The VA has been in existence for too long not to have these programs in place.
Apr 21, 2017 Vivian Nicely
Apr 21, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Apr 21, 2017 Michael Garrett
Apr 21, 2017 Melora Jackson
Apr 20, 2017 Catherine Thompson
Apr 19, 2017 Richard Laba
Apr 19, 2017 amanda curry
Apr 17, 2017 Jennifer Petersen
Apr 16, 2017 Stephen Moyer
Apr 16, 2017 Barbara Hauck
Apr 13, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Apr 13, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Apr 13, 2017 Libby W.
Apr 13, 2017 Tracey McClure
Apr 12, 2017 Jan Bonanza
Apr 11, 2017 Vicki Hall
Apr 10, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Apr 10, 2017 Pam Hartje
Apr 9, 2017 Melissa Hathaway
Apr 9, 2017 Ms. Carla Compton, Activist/Advocate/Human
Apr 9, 2017 P D
Apr 9, 2017 D P
Apr 9, 2017 R Belkin
Apr 9, 2017 Douglas Deason
Apr 9, 2017 Craig Clere
Apr 9, 2017 Dianne Doochin
Apr 8, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Apr 5, 2017 John and Rose Martin
Apr 5, 2017 Jack Martin
Apr 5, 2017 Emily Ettinger
Mar 28, 2017 Jeanette Ambrose I can not FATHOM that it is March 2017 and this is still NOT already well on the way to RESOLVED!
Mar 28, 2017 Cheryl Collins Seidl
Mar 27, 2017 Elizabeth Cummings
Mar 27, 2017 Susan Fisher
Mar 27, 2017 pearl wheeler
Mar 24, 2017 Miranda Ganolli
Mar 19, 2017 (Name not displayed) We can use this.
Mar 19, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Mar 17, 2017 audrey pearman
Mar 16, 2017 Angel Edwards
Mar 15, 2017 Nancy Slanger Stop stalling and start taking some real care of our vets. Twenty two vet suicides a day is a catastrophe.
Mar 15, 2017 Mikail Barron

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